21 Brilliant Ikea Billy Bookcase Hacks

The Ikea Billy bookcase is one of he most iconic pieces of Ikea furniture and that is because it is so simple. It does its job very well. It is also one of the most hacked pieces of Ikea furniture, as you will see with these brilliant Ikea Billy hacks.

The basic structure of the Billy makes it perfect for using to create something much more elaborate without having to start from scratch.

The best use of the Billy is to create custom-looking built in cabinets and there are some of those here.


Ikea Billy Hacks

Fireplace Alcove Built-In Shelves

This is the first example of how you can use Billy bookcases o create stunning built-in shelving. This hack from Place of My Taste uses wide trims either side of the Billy frame to give the illusion of a custom built-in.

We love the arrangement of the shelving to add interest to the overall look.

False Wall Built-Ins

Taking the built-in look to another level, this hack from 11 Magnolia Lane uses the Billy frame as the structure for a false wall in their living room.

The effect is that the shelving looks like it has been recessed into the wall. The clever use of trims and skirting boards hides all the work behind the scenes.

Black Framed Glass Doors

While it’s not strictly a hack, the availability of glass doors for the Billy bookcase is not common knowledge. These black framed doors, shown by April and May, give the Billy a really modern look and fit beautifully into any modern room.

They work really well to display your best china in the kitchen or dining room.

Wallpaper Backed Billy Hack

We love the wallpaper that has been used to provide a backdrop to this Billy hack from Melanie Lissack Interiors. It looks like golden snakeskin or something along those lines!

The rest of the hack is as inspired as the wallpaper. They have even managed to get some lighting added to the middle of the shelving.

French Style Bookcase

This is a gorgeous, yet simple hack of the Billy bookcase from Shabby Fufu. They have created a French style bookcase by adding some coving to the top.

It’s a simple addition that is all that is needed to make this transformation.

The accessories placed on the shelving also help a lot!

Dollhouse Billy Hack

It’s not just adults that can benefit from an Ikea Billy hack. These amazing dollhouse hacks from Tamara Jewelry are so cute and easy to achieve.

We like the way that they have used one of the dollhouses as a bathroom cabinet! Create a dollhouse out of an Ikea Billy bookcase and then use it for something else… how brilliantly abstract!

Wall of Bookcases

The great thing about this wall of bookcases by Elise Joseph on Domino is the generosity of space. The books can lounge around in their own space and special items can be given their own shelf.

This is all done with a relatively inexpensive Billy hack. It’s amazing the kind of interior designer style you can achieve will cheap materials.

Thick Shelf Billy Hack

This gorgeous built-in project from Designed Simple uses two different sized Billy bookcases and the bulks out the shelves and side panels with trims to make them look thicker and less like, well, Billy bookcases!

The simple base board and coving add a touch of elegance to the whole thing.

Elegant Corner Built-In

One of the great things about the Billy bookcase series is the versatility to fit into different sized and shaped spaces. This corner unit by Our Home Becoming is all possible because of this versatility.

A similar trick has been used to ‘thicken’ the upright panels and give the bookcase more stature.

The addition of skirting and cornice complete the look. Oh and a paint job in a gorgeous shade of blue!

Industrial Chipboard Bookcase Doors

An altogether more industrial look with the Ikea Billy hack from Ich Designer. They have used Billy bookcases to build their office storage and then added some sliding doors made from chipboard.

Chipboard is a very trendy (and cheap) building material at the moment to give a rough, industrial look.

Tall Billy Bookcase Hack

If you have the space (and need) for a tall bookcase that goes over the standard dimension, then why not try stacking them. That is exactly what Vintage Revival have done here with a short base unit, a tall unit with glass doors above it and finally a single unit at the top.

They have created a really impressive bookcase with this floor to ceiling look. But if you are doing something similar, be sure to attach the bookcases securely to the wall.

Raised Modern Farmhouse Billy Shelving

We love the look of this modern Billy bookcase hack from @mrs_macs_home on Instagram. They have raised the bookcases up and added a base board to give it the built-in look and more presence.

The Styling of the shelves is where the real work has been done though and this looks stunning, with a space made for everything. We especially love the shelf for firewood and the generous space for the champagne coupes.

Hallway Shoe Storage Extraordinaire

Excuse me for adding another one that isn’t really a hack (actually they did change the handles!), but it’s just too good to leave out. Sometimes the hack is in how you use your Ikea furniture. The use of these Billy shelves with glass doors on the upper half as shoe, hat and scarf storage in this hallway is brilliant.

This bookcase is from Harlowe James and demonstrates that the Billy can be beautiful on its own in the right setting. The lovely new handles do add a touch of style to them though.

Art Deco Style Bookcase

This one is a bit different to all the clean white examples we’ve seen and we love it because of that! This gorgeous art deco style Billy hack from Angiel Interiors matches dark blue and gold beautifully.

The background is actually a gold stencil over dark blue paint. We love the brass downlights and the individual lighting in each shelf.

DIY Woven Cane Bookcase Doors

For a slightly bohemian style look to your Billy bookcase you can add some woven cane inserts to the doors, as in this great hack from Lone Fox.

They have stuck the woven cane to the glass panels in the doors. We love the look this has achieved.

Open Weave Cane Doors

This may look almost exactly the same as the last hack, but if you didn’t want to keep the glass in place on the doors you could take this option from House of Hawkes.

They have created a whole new set of doors with cane inserts. So while the last Billy hack was a lot easier to achieve, this option give you a completely open-weave option without the glass.

Colourful and Eclectic Ikea Billy Hack

We love a bit of colour and this great Billy hack from Infarrantly Creative is certainly that!

They have used a short Billy bookcase and created some simple drawers to fit into the shelves. Instead of just painting it all the same colour, they have used a different colour and handle for each drawer.

It is such a fun project!

Floral Wallpapered Backdrop

Aside from the work done to make this bookcase appear built-in, this hack from Top Shelf DIY is brilliant for its lovely floral wallpaper backdrop.

They have used a removable wallpaper for ease and have chosen a lovely large floral print. The added trims to top and bottom as well as the lighting finish the high standard of this Ikea Billy hack.

Billy Bookcase with a Library Ladder

This great Billy hack from The Lily Pad Cottage uses all the other tricks we’ve seen earlier to create the effect of a custom built-in bookcase, but adds one thing that completely transforms it into something much more incredible: A library ladder!

They have used a barn door hanging kit along with some castors to add the library ladder to the bookcase. The results are pretty impressive!

Stylish Home Office Storage

What we love most about this home office storage bookcase from Southern Revivals is the way it wraps around the room. It offers ample storage for practical items as well as decorative items to inspire your work!

They have even built in a bench seat with an Ikea Kallax. The lighting across the top is a gorgeous touch.

Ikea Billy Mudroom Lockers

This Billy hack from Polka Dot Chair is a fantastic way to build some cheap mudroom lockers to keep all your family’s coats, boots and bags organised.

It is great as it is, but you could use some of the ideas from the other Billy hacks above if you wanted to take it a step further and customise it a bit.


The Ikea Billy bookcase is such a versatile piece of furniture. You can use it as a base for many Ikea Billy hacks. Having that bookcase frame as a flat pack makes the job of creating a custom built-in bookcase, or whatever it is you want to create, so much easier.

Hopefully you’ve found some good inspiration here for your own Ikea Billy hack project!


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